The Cooperative For Human Services opened its second home to support individuals with Acquired Brain
Injuries. The residence, located on Highland Avenue in Malden, MA, is occupied by individuals from the
local area which affords the residents opportunities to spend more time with friends and families as well
gain easy access to the vibrant, active urban culture offered by the city of Malden. The four-bedroom,
two-bathroom house applies all the best practices in assessable design to accommodate people with assistive medical devices such as wheelchairs, walkers and mechanical lifts. The home’s layout includes a solarium where individuals can visit with guests or just enjoy a quiet space for reading and a self-serve coffee/tea bar in the kitchen area.
Financially and clinically eligible individuals in the ABI Waiver program funded by the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts are most often living in long-term care facilities or rehabilitation hospitals and require
24-hour residential supports. Their diagnoses may include injury from motor vehicle accidents, falls,
gunshot wounds, drug overdose, or stroke, for instance. Other qualifying diagnoses include Multiple
Sclerosis and Huntington’s Disease and many individuals have multiple medical complexities as well as
some degree of mobility impairment. Relocating back into the community is a multi-step transition
process that varies in length and complexity based on each individual’s unique needs.
A team of clinical and healthcare coordination managers from the Cooperative For Human Services
works in tandem with DDS Service Coordinators to first meet the individuals, learn their unique stories
and assess their specific needs. Family involvement is an important component of the process and
family members help to determine when and how the individuals will transition into the community.
Once the decision to relocate has been made by the individuals, a transition plan is jointly developed
and executed by the CHS team prior to their arrival into their new home. The plan includes visits to the
house, numerous social events designed to introduce new house mates, shopping for household goods,
decision support about lifestyle choices and answers to many questions and concerns before moving
Once moving day arrives, the house is fully prepared and trained staff are ready to receive the new
residents. It’s a busy day for everyone and as individuals exercise their right to make choices and
express preferences, the individuals and staff begin to learn more about each other forming new
relationships and the foundation to friendships.
At Highland Avenue, moving day was exciting. But what made it even more memorable is that everyone
celebrated the Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series Championship!